I have had a mammoth six months of illness and finding my feet in my new career as an MT (medical transcriptionist) which has been no mean feat.
I am, at this point in time, pleased to say that I have managed to navigate the MT intern minefield and been promoted to a DTC MT. An impressive title which simply means that I am a ‘direct-to-client medical transcriptionist. To say the last six months hasn’t been easy would be an understatement but I think I’m getting the hang of it and I am managing to keep my head above water while dog paddling furiously beneath its depths.
The pay is not fabulous at the moment as it is entirely productivity based and I’m not the fastest swimmer in these parts. I am getting better though, no doubt bolstered along by my recent acquisition of a new built-to-specification computer and a killer set of Bose noise-cancelling headphones. My productivity has increased markedly as I can now actually hear the mumblers and decipher the stutterers. My Bose are not miracle workers, however, so I still can’t translate an indecipherable English-Second-Language dictator if they are not speaking an understood version of the Queen’s English. I am an MT, not a magician.
I have a multitude of accounts, account specifics and different doctors that I transcribe for. No two days are alike and some days are better than others. I have given some of my doctors nicknames specific to the type of voice they have, for example, Dr Dreamy, who is an absolute dream to transcribe. I can only imagine his charming good looks and his amicable personality. Yet another I call Mr Chocolate, whose voice is good enough to eat and probably should be x-rated. Dr Speed-dial never stops to take a breath and I suspect that he may have a somewhat debilitating caffeine habit, while Dr Lead-foot prefers to dictate while negotiating seemingly challenging traffic conditions five days per week.
Some of these dictators I find amusing but others can be a little stressful at times. I have been introduced to all kinds of new English language alternatives and new medical terminology by the English-Second-Language dictators. It is up to me to wade through what is ‘acceptable’ grammar and what is not and present the closest possible variant of what the dictator is trying to say.
I have to be a grammar-efficient talented typist who knows a thing or two about computers, computer programs, IT troubleshooting with a smattering of medical know-how. It’s a tall order but it is not without it’s perks. I get to work from home, I can wear what I want, I can set my own hours and my commuting costs and angst are non-existent.
I have to be diligent and committed to setting my own hours and sticking to them. I have to clock in and clock out, just like everybody else in the real world outside of these four walls. My many years of university study have, fortunately, instilled some admirable, if not slightly self-absorbed working habits.
Right now I’m working to improve my speed and efficiency but I’m doing okay. I’d have to say at this point, however, if it wasn’t for my husband and his well-paid job, we might be eating baked beans and living in a tent. I’m pretty proud of myself though. It was a leap of faith to take when I gave up work to take a year off to do the Ozetrainer course to get me started on this new career path as an MT. In the beginning I wasn’t completely convinced that I would make it through the course, let alone actually be working in the field and earning money. I was at a point in my life where it just wasn’t possible for me to continue what I was doing without it impacting on my health. Working from home was the best option for me and I plan to take it to the next level and see where I end up.